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Circular economy: Putting ideas into practice

SRU

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Author: 
German Advisory Council on the Environment
Publication Date: 
01/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

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Michiel De Vries Herschberg Contact details

This report, published by the German Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), discusses the regulatory and economic tools needed to promote a circular economy.

Circular economy has come to be regarded as the solution to the problem of resource scarcity while at the same time acting as a motor for jobs and welfare in Europe and Germany. However, only a small proportion of the demand for materials is currently met by circularity, since waste management is lagging behind the requirements of a circular economy.

The goal of reducing material flows must be anchored politically and greater attention must be paid to sufficiency. Products must be designed to be compatible with a circular economy and high-grade recycling must finally become a reality.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on municipal waste management systems

ACR+

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Author: 
Jean-Benoît Bel, Paolo Marengo
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Belgium

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ACR+ has run a survey targeting municipal and local authorities (and their waste operators) to understand and assess the impact of the COVID-19 on their waste systems, in particular regarding the services provided, the quantities collected, the health and safety measures, as well as the finances and communication to users.

The report presents the main information and trends coming out of this survey. It also provides an overview of the measures taken by local authorities to tackle the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures.

Local data were collected to analyse the impact of municipal waste generation and sorting performances. Several illustrations of good practices addressing key challenges are also highlighted.

A circular economy for plastics: Let's turn challenges into opportunities

A circular economy for plastics: Let's turn challenges into opportunities

NL branding

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Author: 
Anna Schwarz, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Rob de Ruiter, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Esther Zondervan, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, Freek van Eijk, Holland Circular Hotspot, Lia Huybrechts, Holland Circular Hotspot
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Netherlands

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Energy efficient bubbles, solar-powered interceptors, new business and design models, smart collection solutions, high-tech and fully automated sorting practices and chemical recycling technologies: the Dutch initiative provides inspiration and innovation insights linked to a circular economy for global application. Only by international collaboration will we achieve sizeable success as the plastics value chain spans the globe.

With this brochure, Holland Circular Hotspot and TNO bring their insights to the international level and share best practices with the hope that it will inspire everyone around the world to take action and kickstart circular development.

Growth-positive zero-emission pathways to 2050

Sitra studies 185

Type:

Author: 
Paul Drummond, Daniel Scamman, Paul Ekins (UCL), Leonidas Paroussos (E3-Modelling), Ilkka Keppo (UCL and Aalto University)
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Finland

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Sitra commissioned this study to investigate whether and under what assumptions and policy measures the decoupling of CO2 emissions from economic growth could occur at a sufficient rate for CO2 emissions to decline to net zero by 2050. The analyses were carried out on a global level.

The results of this study show that deep CO2 emission cuts in line with the 1.5 °C target and positive GDP growth can occur at the same time.

A natural next step would be to analyse in detail the decoupling of other harmful environmental impacts from economic growth. For example, a global shift to more circular business models could reduce CO2 emissions and help cut the use of materials and natural resources while maintaining economic growth.

The winning recipe for a circular economy

Sitra publication

Type:

Author: 
Maria Hughes, Reetta Kohonen, Antti Lehtinen, Anu Mänty and Mika Sulkinoja (Sitra), Lauri Byckling, Nina Ahola, Ella Tolonen, Nicolas Dolce, Miikka Simanainen (Deloitte Finland), Olivier Jan, Pierrick Drapeau, Andreas Mitsios, Khai Linh Lhomme, Laura Plamondon (Deloitte France), Akira Kato, Arisa Fukuoka (Deloitte Japan), Joe Solly, Jillian Rodak, Tamara Luisce (Deloitte Canada)
Publication Date: 
04/2021
Country: 
Finland

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The study The winning recipe for a circular economy by Sitra set out to find diverse circular economy solutions that are viable and scalable, that drive systemic circularity, and that have exceptionally positive environmental and social impacts. Over 200 organisations around the world submitted their solutions for consideration.

The study presents 39 outstanding examples of circular economy solutions that are closing material loops and driving the circular transition while being very relevant to their own environment. These solutions demonstrate the benefits of circular business operations and how different organisations across society can use circular thinking to improve the value of their business and progress towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Mater: chairs from spent brewery grain

Mater Mask stool

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Country: 
Denmark

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In Denmark, the interior design company Mater has developed chairs made out of brewery waste. The production method uses plastic waste and the grain left over from beer production at the Danish brewery Carlsberg.

Fjällräven up-cycles wool as a by-product of the meat industry

Sheep @cvil

Fjällräven is giving wool waste a second life by using it for innovative purposes, like padding in jackets or backplate in backpacks.

TAPA: Rubber substitute for sustainable materials in car components

Rubber image

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Belgium, EU, Spain

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Cikautxo worked with the TAPA (ThermoplAstic fluid handling Pipes for cooling circuits in Automotive sector) project, funded by EIT RawMaterials, to develop new materials for pipes and hoses. They substituted natural rubber with a 100% recyclable thermoplastic material (thermoplastic elastomeric, TPE), using energy-efficient extrusion technology.

SUSTAINair: bringing the aerospace and aviation sectors in line with circular principles

SUSTAINair project

The Horizon 2020 project SUSTAINair was launched recently. It aims to research and develop solutions to increase resource efficiency and aircraft performance while cutting down on waste and material costs throughout the aircraft life cycle - what is known as "circular aviation".

SUSTAINair: circular economy for the aviation and aerospace sectors

SUSTAINair

SUSTAINair is an H2020-funded platform developing circular economy principles for the aviation and aerospace design, manufacturing, operations and end-of-life phases. This EU-funded research project aims to make the entire supply chain ecosystem greener, in line with the Circular Economy Action Plan, and to set new standards for aerospace manufacturing, enabling an increase in cross-sector synergies.

The SUSTAINair project provides the aviation sector with a path to a more cost-effective, low-carbon economy, while tackling the increase in resource consumption, waste and emissions. Because of this, the SUSTAINair project has been endorsed by the Future Sky research initiative of the Association of European Research Establishments in Aeronautics (EREA).

 

CLIC: applying circular economy principles to cultural heritage

CLIC project logo

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Country: 
EU

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CLIC trans-disciplinary research project aims to demonstrate that it is economically, socially and environmentally convenient to maintain and/or reuse cultural heritage and landscape.

Maersk: designing ships that can be dismantled and reused

Maersk

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Country: 
Denmark

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Maersk has been developing ways to build recyclable ships that can be dismantled and reused.

Aerocircular: upcycling end-of-life aircraft parts

Image of plane

Aerocircular provides green, service-only, economical end-of-life aircraft recycling and upcycling services to fleet owners.

Herning and DFD do their bit to keep useable clothes in use

Image of working clothes

The partnership between Herning and DFD has led to a new circular business model for the work clothing used by the municipality’s technical operations department.

A municipal procurement contract complying with Nordic Eco-label criteria

Old furniture

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Country: 
Denmark

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The Danish State procurement authority has signed an exclusive procurement contract with the furniture brand Duba-B8, whereby all office furniture must be able to be disassembled into parts and reused several times.

Marealis: peptides harvested from discarded prawn shells help fight high blood pressure

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Country: 
EU, Other (Norway)

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Marealis uses discarded prawn shells from the seafood industry to make a natural supplement that can lower blood pressure.

RecyOuest: How to clean plastic used in farming without water

RecyOuest

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Country: 
France

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RecyOuest is a green economy start-up that recycles contaminated filamentary thermoplastics such as agricultural nets and twines.

Purrot: A self-cleaning vibrating Rotor-filter to separate manure or treat waste water

cattle

PURROT is a filter  that can mechanically separate organic matter and nutrients from liquid, without using chemicals.

Circular Soap in Park Split Hotel, Croatia

Soap@cvil

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Croatia

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The Croatian project titled "Responsible Business for a Clean World" involves collecting unused soap in hotels and sending it to a soap factory, where it is cleaned, sterilised and recycled into new soap products, which are then offered back to customers at the hotel.

Purified Metal: Responsible processing of contaminated steel scrap into high-quality raw material

EIT

Purified Metal Company can responsibly process contaminated steel scrap into a high-quality raw material.

Refarmed: using buildings’ residual heat and biowaste to support rooftop greenhouses

reFARMED

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Country: 
Denmark

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Refarmed uses the concept of ‘building integrated agriculture’. High-impact buildings (meaning they produce a lot of waste and excess heat) are equipped with rooftop greenhouses which turn all that waste into value - to support low-impact food production.

ConnectedBin: Artificial intelligence and Internet of Things for smart waste management

ConnectedBin logo

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Bulgaria

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ConnectedBin has developed a waste container solution using artificial intelligence to identify waste types and sort them properly. The Internet of Things system reports on waste types and amounts, making waste collection more efficient.

Studio Thomas Vailly's flower power: how to make leather and glue from sunflowers

Studio Thomas Vailly

Studio Thomas Vailly's project makes use of what is left of the sunflower crop to produce innovative materials.

Sonae Arauco: Sustainable wood-based panels made from wood industry by-products

Sonae Arauco logo

Sonae Arauco is a wood-based panel producer that contributes to the circular economy through the recovery of wood waste. It has developed a close value chain that reuses and recycles the wood residues generated during the production process. 

The Manhattan pop-up bistro made from 100% recyclable materials

Pop-up bistro

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Country: 
Finland

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For New York's design week, NYCxDESIGN in May 2018, the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York invited chefs from the Helsinki-based Restaurant Nolla to bring their zero waste food philosophy to New York. The temporary bistro was built on themes of circular economy, new material innovations and sustainable design. 

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